Kids, tourists volunteer to help Yolanda victims

Young and old alike are doing what they can to help kababayans heavily hit by monster typhoon Yolanda.

Yes, even little help goes a long way, as proven by kids as young as three who were among the volunteers in Makati, during joint relief operations for the Yolanda-ravaged province of Leyte.
 
Prince Villahermosa, 10, and Yuan Rivera, 3, accompanied their parents who volunteered to pack relief goods in the village’s covered sports complex Monday.
 
“Sinama po ako dito ni nanay para raw po makatulong kami sa mga natamaan ng bagyo sa ibang lugar,” Prince said in an interview.
 
The boy helped bring bags of goods from a group of volunteers that filled them with rice to another group that canned food.
 
Yuan, for his part, said he is here because his widowed mother couldn’t leave him at home while she was volunteering.
 
“Mawawala ako kung iniwan ako,” the three-year-old said while he was helping pour rice into plastic bags.
 
Makati social worker Dolly Bas said the two boys were only a few of the children who also helped in operations which started Sunday.
 
She said some parents brought their kids along in a conscious effort to expose them to volunteering at a young age.
 
The awareness and willingness to help was evident in Prince, who said he felt pity for the typhoon victims he saw on television.
 
“Naawa po ako sa kanila at naisip ko po na mabuti na lang hindi iyon nangyari sa amin dito,” the 10-year-old said.
 
Prince's mother Nova said it was Prince himself who asked to go with her to the relief operations center jointly operated by Makati City and Leyte officials.
 
Meanwhile, in Palawan, foreign tourists visiting the island province famous for its beaches and tourist spots also helped in relief operations after typhoon Yolanda.
 
Palawan was among the areas hardest-hit by typhoon Yolanda, with deaths reported due to the typhoon. The resort town of Coron declared a state of emergency Saturday.

Yolanda, the world’s strongest storm this year and the most powerful storm to hit land on record, hit the Philippines Friday.
 
Reports have estimated the death toll to have reached more than 10, 000 while government struggles to provide relief to survivors.
 
Relief operations are ongoing nationwide with several organizations, both public and private, leading efforts in different areas.
 
In Makati, packing of relief goods for Leyte will continue for as long as goods are provided, social workers said.
The Philippine Red Cross is also calling for other donations aside from food and clothing. Blood donations, for instance, are urged for those hurt in during the typhoon.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate has meanwhile called for a ceasefire between the military and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in the wake of Yolanda.

The ceasefire will “facilitate the unhampered relief, retrieval and clearing operations” conducted by government and other groups, Zarate’s statement Monday read.

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